To all the new moms out there, I know you have big plans! Gonna hit that playground, pick up some moms and make some lifetime buddies for your baby, right?
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but…
I too had big plans. Intent on dressing my boy up and taking him to the playground where I knew all the cool moms went. Cool moms must equal cool kids, right?
Expectations were simple: have a wonderful morning with my son and hopefully make some friends we could plan more outings with.
Instead I was introduced to a world I thought only existed in the movies.
Approaching the park, it was a busy morning. I parked the stroller and I looked around. My son was immediately enthralled by a swarm of kids located in the only shaded corner. Surrounded by their conversing mothers, this seemed like the perfect day to make new friends.
Oh how naive can one be?
We sat close. Matthew playing in the cool sand, perplexed by the odd textures and strange sense of sinking every time he moved. I played with him, intermittently saying, “Hello” and smiling followed by more “Hellos” and smiles to those around us.
I’m from Hawaii. We have aloha spirit in the islands. We care for the land and each other. We invite strangers in and share.
Apparently Beverly Hills doesn’t want any unless it is in an all-inclusive luxury Maui resort where everyone is kissing their arse cause they are paid to regardless of bad behavior. Was that judgmental?
For the record, Hawaii loves its tourists, but doesn’t like jerks who think they can be rude and disrespectful – but the locals will still share the aloha spirit as much as possible- and not just because it’s the law.
It didn’t take long for it to hit me like sand being swept up in a tornado. No one acknowledged anything I said or did. Wait, I take that back. There was.
Acknowledgment in the form of telling their kids to “not go over there,” meaning by us. I notice their looks. You know the ones that make you look yourself over to be certain you didn’t forget your blouse in the closet.
I mean, just maybe I was flaunting boobies for no reason or worse, beaver. But I wasn’t. I didn’t have a mommy-brain morning forgetting to dress myself.
It was obvious that we interrupted a playgroup that felt that this public park was theirs.
Rage welled up inside of me.
Matthew wasn’t too crazy about the sand and so to my relief, I swept him up and harnessed him in a swing on the other side of the playground. I pushed. He giggled.
We were outsiders. This was clear.
It saddened me to think that our neighborhood was a place many dream about raising their children. Good schools, safe streets, fabulous public facilities. But one thing was lacking, at least on this playground, a good attitude.
I began to plot.
Looking at these moms, perfectly manicured in every way, something had to be done. After all, this is where the entitlement complex begins. This is where the bullying epidemic starts. And this is Los Angeles – city of diversity, acceptance and love.
Oh the hypocritical rage!
The entire time Matthew swung, I fantasized about kicking sand at them. No, not in their face or on their kids. That’s just bitchy. No, I want to hit them where it hurts.
Why is that a Louis Vuitton diaper bag? I mean really, you put diarrhea dirty diapers in there? Aren’t you worried sand will scuff it?
God hath no furry like a prima donna who’s designer diaper bag was ruined because she was at the playground, in the sand. Would it really be my fault if my stroller accidentally ran over the straps? Or my son accidentally whacked it with his toy shovel?
Sorry but not sorry?
Jolted out of my fantasy by my giggling son, I realized maybe that isn’t the best example of turn the other cheek I can demonstrate for him.
But damn it would feel so good! Am I right?
Finding your tribe can be hard. It takes time. And while we all get angry, knowing the values you want to teach your children means knowing the values you wish show your children.
Quite honestly, turning the other cheek when it comes to your kid is the hardest thing to do. Every protective instinct jumps in and, trust me when I say, if I unleashed that – there would be significant news coverage.
Sometimes we just need to suck it up and realize that there are people who aren’t nice, not inclusive and don’t share. Our children do learn this on the playground, whether we are there or not.
Find the right tribe. Teach your children their value. Show them how to be true to themselves. And try not to let your inner bitch change how you demonstrate good behavior.
What did you do to make mom friends?